The day seemed standard enough: President Joe Biden was scheduled to travel to Pittsburgh, “The City of Bridges” to discuss the newly-passed federal infrastructure package. However, the day soon turned into a stark visual of why funding the nation’s roads and bridges is so important. Hours before the president was set to arrive, one of the city’s bridges collapsed, a timely reminder of why long-term, sustainable funding is vital for our nation’s aging infrastructure.
Weeks after Congress passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, federal guidance is beginning to trickle out as to how states and local governments can access the programs and funding authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Yet, in some cases, the actual dollars to institute those programs remains caught up in political maneuvering in Congress. The Washington Post offers a comprehensive take on negotiations currently underway at the federal level to appropriate the funding at the heart of the package.
The Build Indiana Council team is closely tracking developments on the implementation of the IIJA and is in talks with the Indiana Department of Transportation on how new formula dollars will be used. The White House recently published a guidebook on the infrastructure law and the programs it entails. It has also taken steps to prioritize the bridge formula program with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg traveling to Pennsylvania weeks before President Biden to officially launch the program. In all, the program will dedicate $26.5 billion to states, with $5.3 billion available in FY 22. Secretary Buttigieg also sat down with the nation’s governors at the National Governors Association’s Winter Meeting to discuss the law’s implementation.
Be sure to check back regularly for IIJA updates on the BIC blog and reach out to BIC Executive Director Brian Gould with questions at [email protected].